Reeling in walleye with custom spinnerbaits
Walleye everywhere should be on the lookout; there’s new eye candy in town.
Sutherland, Nebraska, lays claim as the “Biggest Little Village” in Nebraska, and now it can also claim to be home to one of Nebraska’s largest suppliers of walleye tackle.
Big Eye Spinnerbaits is a family-owned business that launched in 2011 when fishing enthusiasts Jason Cooper and Brian Regelin were participating in a fishing tournament and concluded a heavier spinnerbait wouldn’t require so much line to be let out. With nothing heavier readily available, Jason’s mind began reeling with ideas, and he quickly went about crafting one. A partnership was formed, and when the first Big Eye Spinnerbait debuted at a fishing tournament, it made a big splash — Brian took first place using Jason’s handcrafted spinnerbait.
Trolling in big waters
Fast forward to 2017 and Big Eye Spinnerbaits has become the favorite tackle supply store for walleye fishermen all over North America. A smart decision was made to invest in a website, allowing them to sell their handcrafted spinnerbaits in more than 40 states and Canada. A map in their store tracks the remaining states they hope to receive orders from in their plan to reel in all 50 states. Their custom spinnerbaits are even well known in the tournament world, with a high-profile professional fisherman recently calling them to place a large order for a tournament in South Dakota.
Fishing brings a family together
Partner Brian was bought out in 2016 and now Jason, his wife Shawna, and sons Hunter, 16, and Jaron, 14, run the business. Hunter and Jaron are quick studies, assembling 100 spinnerbaits an hour, and Shawna supports the website and other aspects of the business.
Approximately 75 percent of their sales are Internet-based, and about 25 percent comes from their retail store located in the family’s garage. Using space already available has enabled them to keep overhead low, passing the savings on to their customers.
The fully stocked retail store showcases their 20 custom spinnerbait designs, which are available in several sizes and colors. Their bestseller is the Big Mac Attack 1-ounce spinnerbait. While the spinnerbaits are the only product they make, they stock a full selection of walleye tackle including crank baits, Tommy Harris custom painted blades, jigs, fishing line, reels, ice fishing lures, and more.